Advanced Praise for Reza Aslan's How to Win A Cosmic War:
- "An eloquent plea for defanging terrorism with rights for Muslims, both in the West and the Middle East... Even readers who believe a fight with terror requires throwing some military punches will learn from Aslan's endorsement of soft-power approaches." Kirkus Reviews
- "Aslan makes the case that War on Terror is an unwinnable one exactly because it is the wrong war to fight. A war between religions, a battle between good and evil, "A cosmic war," fails to address the underlying social and political roots of conflict and terror. For people of faith and all those concerned with peace in our world, Aslan's exacting prose and depth of discernment create an enticing and necessary read." Jim Wallis, author of The Great Awakening
- "In this provocative and engaging book, Reza Aslan shows why he is one of America's leading analysts of the confusing and frightening forces that confront us. It is Aslan's great gift to see things clearly, and to say them clearly, and in this important new work he offers us a way forward."
Jon Meacham, author of American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House
- "[How to Win a Cosmic War] reaches across a world chasm that too many regard as unbridgeable - with balance, eloquence, and rare wisdom." James Carroll, Author of Constantine's Sword
- "'Terror' is never going to show up with a pen to sign a peace treaty ending the "War on Terror." The use of that phrase has created a black hole into which serious talk about serious topics - including, by all means, Islam but also Christianity and Judaism - has disappeared. Reza Aslan's elegant, incisive book breaks the spell cast by "the emperor's new talk" and signals that the conversation the world has been waiting for may at last be about to begin."
Jack Miles, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of God: A Biography
- "How To Win A Cosmic War hovers confidently over a vast historical terrain, landing where it must to explore how common and terrible apocalyptic thinking is how it plagues every religious tradition, every inspired nationalism, and cannot be defeated with brute force, upon which it thrives. A unique primer for pragmatic leaders whose patient enlightenment is the real antidote to terror."
Bernard Avishai, author of The Hebrew Republic and The Tragedy of Zionism
A cosmic war is a religious war. It is a battle not between armies or nations, but between the forces of good and evil. The ultimate goal of a cosmic war is to vanquish evil itself, which ensures that a cosmic war remains an absolute, eternal, and ultimately unwinnable conflict. Cosmic wars are fought not over land or politics but over identity. There can be no compromise, no negotiation, no settlement, and no surrender in a cosmic war. The Jihadists who attacked the United States on September 11, 2001 were fighting a cosmic war. According to Reza Aslan, by adopting the same religiously polarizing rhetoric and cosmic worldview in the so-called War on Terror, the U.S. is also fighting a cosmic war... a war that can't be won.
HOW TO WIN A COSMIC WAR provides both an in-depth study of the ideology behind al-Qa'ida, the Taliban, and like-minded militants throughout the Muslim world, and an exploration of the tradition of religious violence found in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Surveying the global scene from Israel to Iraq and from New York to the Netherlands, Aslan argues that religion is a stronger force today than it has been in a century. At a time when religion and politics are increasingly sharing the same vocabulary and functioning in the same sphere, Aslan writes that we must strip this ideological conflict of its religious connotations and address the actual grievances that fuel the Jihadist movement.
How do you win a cosmic war? By refusing to fight in one.